Hasegawa 1/450
HMS Vanguard

Reviewed by Sean Hert

HMS Vanguard was the last gun battleship ever built, bringing about the close of an era. No longer were naval guns the decisive factor during engagements, so Vanguard was obsolete even before she was completed. Vanguard was, basically, a Lion class battleship built with 15" guns. (None of the Lion class were built; they would have had 16" guns)

HMS Vanguard was the largest and most modern battleship constructed by the Royal Navy. Vanguard was also a better sea boat, better protected and had very pleasing lines. Sadly, she wasn't commissioned until 1946; too late to participate in World War Two. During her resulting short career, she never fired a shot in anger, and was quickly sent to the breakers. An ignoble end to the last of a line.

Hasegawa has re-issued this kit a few times over the years, most recently in the summer of 2011. It is possible this kit was originally a Frog kit, dating from the 1960-70's time period- the level of detail certainly indicates so.


Vanguard comes with a single peice, full hull molded in thick grey styrene. The hull features raised lines, showing simplified plating details and denoting the waterline. The hull also features a raised armor belt, portholes and oversized, solid bilge keels. The hull appears to be undersized in scale.

The lower hull and transom have a heavy mold line running down the center. The lower hull aft of the kit, around the rudder and propellors, has a more simplified shape than Vanguard has. There is also some interior structures which imply this kit was once motorized.


Comprised of only five parts, sprue A is one of only three sprues in this kit. Three of the parts make up the deck and most of the superstructure for Vanguard. Each part has raised lines, simulating planking, and most of the deck gear is molded on. The forecastle part has molded on anchor chains, which appear small. There is a slot on the main deck, which may have once been for an on/off switch.


Sprue B has the main and secondary batteries of Vanguard, the directors, funnel halves, and some masts. There is some flash around the edge of some of the parts, but nothing severe when considering the age of the kit.

There are ovals molded atop the main turrets, to simulate life rafts. These turrets have seperate rangfinders, and are designed to be re-positionable.


This remaining sprue has a variety of parts; pom-poms and their gun tubs, the main gun barrels, ship's boats, props and cranes.


Ther are no decals included in Vanguard.


A 8 page instruction book is included, with straightforward steps and assembly. Some of the steps will need to be considered carefully; the turrets, to remain positionable, must be installed prior to the deck's installation into the hull. Likewise, the ring which retains the rudder must be installed prior to the quarterdeck.


While this kit is obviously a product of it's time, and does not compare to most modern kits, it is the only large-scale model of Vanguard available. This grand old Dame deserves(d) better, but it is unlikely there will be a modern kit of her ever produced; so pick one up, excercise those modelling skills, and build a HMS Vanguard for your shelf!

Thanks to Great Planes Model Distributorsfor the review sample. It is listed as #40115 1/450 Royal Navy Battleship HMS Vanguard with a MSRP of $49.95 US. Great Planes is the exclusive US importer for Hasegawa.